November 7, 2021 2:47:55 am
Chhattisgarh’s Sukma police arrested eight tribals returning from a protest on November 1. While the police said six of the arrested men carried a reward of Rs 17 lakh on them, their families claimed they were not Maoists.
According to the police press note, the arrests were made from a forest near Morpalli village under Chintalnar police station limits on Thursday during an “area domination operation” of CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) battalion, an elite unit of the CRPF, and the district police.
Sukma Superintendent of Police (SP) Sunil Sharma said the November 2 operation, launched on the basis of intelligence inputs, led to the arrests. Of those arrested, Kawasi Raju alias Santu, a “battalion” member, and Kalmu Mada (25), a “militia company commander”, carried rewards of Rs 8 lakh and Rs 5 lakh on their heads, he said.
However, Bela Bhatia, who is representing the eight men, said they were apprehended while returning from a protest in Silger on the Sukma and Bijapur border. “A group of people from three villages was returning on cycles from Silger when police stopped them in the Morpalli jungles and took them to Chintalnar. After rigorous questioning, 43 of them were released on Nov 3. On N 5, three minors were also released. Eight remaining men were shown to be Maoists and arrested in what seems to be a fake case,” Bhatia said.
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